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Articles Home » 1984 Articles » Charlene - 1984 Hit And Run Lover
Charlene - 1984 Hit And Run Lover

ARTIST: Charlene
ALBUM: Hit And Run Lover
LABEL: Tamla Motown
YEAR: 1984


LINEUP: Charlene - lead vocals

TRACK LISTING: 01 We're Both In Love With You * 02 When The Magic Dies * 03 I Found In You (Something I Lost In Me) * 04 I'll Be Waiting * 05 Escape * 06 Hit And Run Lover * 07 Payin' For Borrowed Time * 08 Next Door Neighbour * 09 I See The Music


Reading Charlene D'Angelo's Wikipedia page makes for some interesting reading. the former Tamla Motown folk/pop/rocker turned 60 a few weeks back, but for most of the readership here, they'll be asking 'Charlene who?' A California native, Charlene signed with Tamla Motown in 1973 at the age of 23, and recorded a host of (mostly) unsuccessful songs during the 70's, with the exception of one tune.. 'I've Never Been To Me'. Originally released in 1976, it went nowhere, but 6 years later, a local Miami DJ started playing the song and it sprouted wings (literally), going to #3 in the US Charts plus a healthy ranking in the UK charts too (#1 in fact!). The song is a soft pop/rock folky affair with comparisons made at the time to Mary McGregor's 1976 hit 'Torn Between Two Lovers'. This resulted in a resurrection of Charlene's career, who after her initial unsuccessful stint with Motown, moved to England to live with second husband Jeff Oliver, by this time Charlene had become a devout Christian. The surprise 'sleeper hit' of 1982 bought her back to Tamla, who (as you would expect) put her back into the spotlight. 'I've Never Been To Me' (the album) was released in 1982 to exploit her new found success. A further album 'Used To Be' was recorded later that same year, with the single featuring Stevie Wonder released in 1983. Tamla tried to further exploit her success for 1984's 'Hit And Run Lover', but this time, changed her image and sound to something more vampy and hi-tech pop. At the time, Tamla were experimenting with their roster, consider their offshoot label Morrocco with acts such as Kidd Glove and the excellent Jakata, plus there were acts such as De Barge who were on the verge of national breakout.

The Songs
'Hit And Run Lover' is a complete change of scene for Charlene, who swapped the previous folky mellow material for crisp, hi-tech pop rock in the vein of Danish duo Laban, Audrey Landers and Laura Branigan. Many of Charlene's prior fans would have been put off by the material on this album, but for GLORYDAZE readers I think this is a good fit. From the outset, the LP is fast paced, melodic, poppy with a ton of DX7 keyboards in the mix. From 'We're Both In Love With You' to the very fluid 'I See The Music', it's all very well played and a fun listen. The two tracks which stand out the most include 'Escape' which could be Tuesday Knight in disguise, plus the title track 'Hit And Run Lover', which just smells of the 80's. The only song which is different to the rest is the soaring ballad 'I Found In You (Something That I Lost In Me)' which has all the hallmarks of those 70's ballads with a heap of orchestral strings in the background. A bit cheesy, but it's the 80's right?

In Summary
Tamla (or Berry Gordy) in his infinite wisdom decided to pitch Charlene in the movie 'The Last Dragon', in which the label was providing music. Her song 'Fire' was included in the movie and on the soundtrack, but did not prove to be successful, by 1985 she was out of a contract again. Reading the history, it seems Tamla's intentions were (to put it mildly) vampiric, using the revenue generated from the second success of Charlene's hit song to help offset the costs of the initial recording six years earlier, which sounds like a load of crock to my way of thinking. That song though ('I've Never Been To Me') reared its head again in the 1994 Australian hit movie 'The Adventures of Priscilla: Queen Of The Desert', which helped put Charlene's name back in lights and some dollars back into her pocket. According to Charlene's Wikipedia page, there is talk that she might re-release the song in a dance/trance remix. As a contender for the one-hit wonder award, it's a pity they can't leave well enough alone and let the song rest in peace.. lol!

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#1 | Eric on August 22 2010 13:47:17
Debby Boone and Helen Reddy's classic 'Ain't No Way To Treat A Lady' rolled up in one.
#2 | jefflynnefan on August 22 2010 16:57:01
I guess I don't remember the song "I've never been to me". hmm!
#3 | gdazegod on August 13 2015 14:22:57
I've Never Been To Me gets played quite often on my local radio station. That and the Pina Colada song from Rupert Holmes.
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